Dulles Transit Partners told the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority on Feb. 7 that it had reached “substantial completion” on Phase 1 of the Silver Line, which will run from East Falls Church to Reston’s Wiehle Avenue.
However, MWAA completed a 15-day review last week and found issues in 7 of 12 areas, ranging from leaks to problems with the automatic train control system. DTP is correcting the issues. It is not known how long that will take, but it is likely to delay the project’s turnover to Metro, which will in turn delay the rail’s opening date for the third time in the last few months.
The Washington Post reports that DTP’s contract states the contractor must finish the work within seven months of the agreed upon completion date of Sept. 9, 2013 — or face fines in the millions.
If the work is not finished within that time, starting roughly April 10, DTP would face a $25,000-a-day penalty until the work is done, the Post reports. If the project is not completed 92 days after that April date, the contractor would have to pay roughly $2.3 million in fines, plus an additional $75,000 a day.
Ultimately, if the project is delayed more than six months from that April date, DTP could be required to pay more than $9 million total. Under the terms of the contract, the payments are capped at $60 million.
Also in the contract, a financial incentive: Had DTP completed the project earlier than scheduled, it could have earned up to $10 million in rewards.
When MWAA certifies that the issues are repaired, the project will be turned over to Metro, which has 90 days to complete its own testing.
The latest delay is one of several, though Metro and MWAA officials have never given a firm opening date for the Silver Line. It is now expected that the Silver Line will not open until summer 2014.